Printer Repair – An In-Depth Guide to Various Fixes

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Updated November 17, 2022

When they work properly, printers are the perfect office tool. They can provide amazing quality output for a variety of print jobs. They are there when you need them, and stay quiet when you don’t. You can expect some noise if it’s not a clean printer. Consequently, if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why won’t my printer scan?” there’s a chance your device needs a repair.

Therefore, it can be extremely frustrating when you run into trouble with your impressive printer. Unfortunately, this includes issues like the printer printing faded text. This how-to article covers repair basics and steps for some of the most common printer issues. Keep reading to learn more about printer repair and how you can do it from home.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Most printers only need simple repairs, which keeps your costs low.
  • Professional service usually isn’t worth it compared to the replacement cost.
  • A good printer reset is usually more than enough to get your printer running again.

Everything You Need to Know About Repairing Your Printer

When it comes to printer repair, you can do plenty of things at home before taking the device to get serviced by a repair technician. Printers are more affordable than they’ve ever been but still expensive enough that attempting a repair can save you a lot of money in the long run. Moreover, if you’re using the best printer for Cricut, you’ll want to repair it instead of replacing it.

For instance, a good sublimation printer will cost you a small investment, especially if you’re using it for business purposes. Therefore, you’ll want to protect your investment.

Saving on costs is one of the advantages of doing printer maintenance by yourself. You can also reset your printer before you start repairing it, as the issue may be related to software.

Steps

Follow these steps to repair some of the most common issues your printer may experience.

STEP 1 Check All Cable Connections and Outlets

If your printer doesn’t turn on after pressing the button, the problem may be as simple as an unplugged cable. Ensure all cable connections are secure on both the printer and the outlet sides. If everything is connected, but your printer still isn’t powering on, you may want to check that your outlet is still receiving power. Plug another device into the same outlet to see if it powers on. If your outlet isn’t working properly, you may need to hire an electrician to help.

STEP 2Reset the Printer

While the old “turn it off and on again” trick may seem like a joke in movies and TV shows, it can actually do a lot of good for printers. When you turn the device off and on again, it resets its internal memory and wipes away any temporary errors. Try this if you’re experiencing slow print times, laggy responsiveness, or unreliable operation.

STEP 3 Download the Latest Drivers or Software

Like computers, printers have onboard memory and software that keeps everything running smoothly. Many printers automatically update these drivers and software, but if you’re experiencing slow print times or laggy operation, you may just need a software update. Search for the printer on the manufacturer’s website and then click on the update drivers option. You can usually just Google your printer’s name with the word drivers to find the right page. Now that everything is up to date, you should also look into securing your printer, and we have an article on how to set a password to a printer to help you.

STEP 4 Replace or Reset the Ink Cartridge

If you get low ink warnings that won’t go away, you’ll need to replace, reset or refill your printer ink cartridge. To reset your ink cartridge, take a paper clip and press the reset button located near the cartridge’s circuit board. Sometimes, you may just have purchased a bad ink cartridge. If this is the case, you should be able to return it to the store. Replacing your ink cartridge may also increase your print speed.

STEP 5 Clean the Print Head

Most printers are made in a way that they are easy to disassemble, permitting you to use a clean printer method. If you’re experiencing problems with blotching colors or sections of your paper that aren’t getting printed, then you may need to clean the print head. Follow your owner’s manual to learn how to get to the print head, and then use your denatured alcohol and clean cloth to clean it. Wet your cloth with the alcohol and gently scrub the print head, ensuring you get all the nozzles. Try not to touch the nozzles with your bare hands when you replace them after cleaning since this can cause clogs.

STEP 6Service the Paper Rollers

After extended periods of use, the rollers that grab the paper and feed it through the printer can lose their grip. Use your clean cloth and denatured alcohol on the rubber portions on the rollers. This can often restore some grip back to the rollers and help with fixing a jammed printer.

STEP 7 Get the Printer Professionally Serviced or Replaced

If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your printer isn’t working, it may be time to get it professionally serviced or replaced. Keep in mind that these repairs can get expensive, so it may be more affordable to purchase a new printer entirely. In addition, if you find yourself needing to be rid of this printer, read our guide talking about what you should do with your old printer, to help you get rid of that clunker.

F.A.Q.S

How do you fix a printer problem?

Most printers can be fixed by simply turning them off and on again, clearing the print queue, or removing and re-adding your printer to your computer. However, you can also take further steps like cleaning or replacing individual components.


Are printers worth repairing?

It depends on the repair cost compared to your printer’s cost. If you have a commercial printer worth several thousand dollars, then repair is almost always worth it. On the other hand, if you have a sub-$200 printer at home, then it’s almost always worth purchasing a replacement. It is always worth it if you can perform the repair yourself.


How do I fix my printer that won’t print?

Most times, your printer will give you an error message with details on why it won’t print. Follow the instructions found in the error message. You can also try resetting your printer, canceling and restarting the print, and downloading the latest drivers.


How do I get a printer back online?

Try resetting your home network’s router, disconnecting the printer from the network and reconnecting, and physically checking all network connections, if applicable.


STAT: Professional printer repair costs can range anywhere from $40 to $125 an hour. (source)

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